Jayson’s Article And The Bitter Truth About Some Expats
Jayson's Article And The Bitter Truth About Some Western Expats
By International Observer
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Hi stick, I've been a casual reader of your website for about a year ever since I found it while searching for information on my trip to Thailand. I am someone that travels the world quite a bit due to my occupation so I am able to compare and contrast other world cultures with Thai people. What I have read from Jayson's assessment of "farang" and Thai women is pretty accurate and hardly relevant for just Thailand. There's one point of his that I'd like to emphasize, expats or more particularly western expats are pretty notorious worldwide for treating the local population in a disrespectful way. I don't mean all western expats behave like this but there is an unmistakable trend there.
As an example, I have spent time in Russia as a long-term resident and a lot of the "my shit don't stink" attitude from expats is also pretty well known. There are remarkable similarities between the way expats act in Thailand and in Russia. The difference in Russia is that the "nightlife" isn't as obvious as it is in Bangkok but it's just as common. Russian women often say that Russian men are "no good" to your typical western expat too. Hey, guess what..these Russian women also keep Russian boyfriends on the side and sing a different tune when you know them. Sound familiar? The similarities are even more startling if you date outside the immediate nightlife venues. There are "hi so" and regular career Russian girls who wouldn't look twice at joe expat and there are "low so" country girls from small Russian towns or the Ukraine who come to Moscow and St. Petersburg to hook a western husband or find any work that they can. Unfortunately, the latter women are the ones who deal with the scummier elements of western expat culture the most. These are also the girls you see most often hanging off the arm of your typical western expat just like Isaan women in Thailand. As a result they are often the most jaded and if you encounter one and befriend them they will reveal quite a bit about what they REALLY think…doubly so if you can speak the language. Let's just say the money scams and games the nightlife women play in Russia are extremely similar to their Thai counterparts.
I have also noticed that Russian men are frequently stereotyped the same way as Thai men by these expats. Russian men are portrayed as chauvinist destitute drunken louts. Naturally there are Russian men who are happy to fulfil these stereotypes but the majority of Russian men do not act this way. Of course expats who live there to chase women often seize on these stereotypes in order to make themselves look better. If they don't get what they want then the expats claim that the native population is "xenophobic" (they can't play the race card in Russia.) Jayson addressed this too even though he didn't really say it in so many words I will.. usually the expats who are full of moral self righteousness and general contempt for the local population are the worst sort. There is definitely an element of bigotry in their attitudes. There's a certain percentage of expats from western nations who come to these countries expecting the colonial red carpet to be rolled out for them. Whether it's based on economics or cultural imperialism I don't know but they think they can go around and treat the locals horribly with condescending attitudes and then expect the same people to worship the ground they walk on.
It's not surprising that the worst and most desperate elements of that society (whether it's Russian or Thai) are the only ones they encounter. After all if you're a self respecting local WOULD you demean yourself by hanging out with foreigners who treat you like trash? It's also not surprising that after awhile all foreigners from a similar cultural background get lumped into that category. If you have enough expats acting like this don't be surprised when the locals start changing their motives when dealing with foreigners and the relatively hospitable attitudes edge into hostility. I think I'm wasting my breath though, deep down I know some of these expats realize what they are there for and how they act but just like you can't remove a zebra's stripes it's nigh impossible to reform unscrupulous people with generally low moral character. Jayson's article struck a chord because it was the bitter truth. The problem with Thailand isn't Thai people, it's an abundance of these undesirable types of western expats and tourists in Thailand.
Follow-up articles to this should be interesting.